Originally Posted by kjbrown92
having a bulls eye rash says the person is infected with Lyme. What you're trying to avoid is chronic lyme, which is much harder to treat. The tick that carries it most often is the deer tick which is as small as the head of a pin. It's easy to miss because it looks like a freckle a lot of the time.
The rash is the initial sign of an active Lyme infection. If treated promptly, this active infection is far, far less likely to become a chronic, difficult-to-eradicate illness.
My son had acute Lyme in the Fall of 2009. He skipped the rash completely and went straight to serious neurological symptoms, and we are very, very fortunate that his primary doctor had read up on pediatric Lyme and we got prompt treatment. The doctor he referred us to (an infectious disease specialist) was even more well-read, and doing research on Lyme himself. He said that he believes that some of what is called chronic Lyme is actually the results of permanent nerve damage done by acute Lyme infections. In other words: when the Lyme first hits the body, it attacks nerves and tissues. Some of the damage it does at that point is permanent. The sooner you treat that acute phase, the less permanent damage you are likely to have.
(this is separate from the issue of some spirochetes remaining after treatment. Whether or not that is the case, the fact is that damage it does to your nervous system can be permanent. Nerves regenerate slowly if they do so at all).
My son's serious neurological symptoms began to improve within hours of his first dose of antibiotics, and at his last followup appointment the doctor could see none of the original symptoms. But thanks to quick reactions on the part of our primary doctors, he was treated very quickly. The neurologist we were referred to said he'd just had a patient for whom the partial paralysis of Lyme had become permanent. :(